Not many medical students can list emergency helicopter patient retrievals in Afghanistan as part of their pre-study experience.
However for Mirwais Adli this work and all the dangers associated with it, was everyday life before coming to the University of Tasmania to study nursing.
A 2003 Bachelor of Medicine graduate from the Shaikh Zayed University in south eastern Afghanistan with post-graduate training in emergency and trauma, Mr Adli worked performing emergency retrievals via helicopter for the United Nations and Western Defence Forces in Afghanistan for six years.
When terrorists began targeting foreign troops and people working with international forces, Mr Adli began to fear for his safety.
After speaking to many Australians during his work (and buoyed by his love of cricket), he applied for an Australian humanitarian visa and arrived in western Sydney in 2008.
“My parents and I were very happy that I was in this safe country - especially on my arrival in Sydney, I felt that I could sleep a night without fear,” Mr Adli said.
While waiting to gain recognition for his qualifications in Australia, Mr Adli wasted no time achieving a Medical Business Administration (Certificate III), Health Services Assistant - Assistant in Nursing in acute care (Certificate III), and a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (Certificate IV), between 2010 and 2014.
In 2015, he started his Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Tasmania’s Rozelle campus.
During his studies, Mr Adli supported himself working full-time at Auburn Hospital as an Assistant in Nursing and an interpreter, which led in February this year to a new graduate position at the hospital in the operating theatre and surgical ward.
Mr Adli was one of around 350 students to graduate as part of the University of Tasmania’s 2017 Sydney Graduation Round recently, at the City Recital Hall, in Sydney.
Known for his strong work ethic and the support he has given his fellow students, Mr Adli also took part in a leadership and mentoring research project during his studies on the Rozelle campus and during his graduation also received a citation in the Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Program.
Married with two young daughters and an active community member, Mr Adli said he felt he had been a strong role model for his daughters and siblings, and felt very grateful to have had the opportunity to achieve what he had.
“I am very happy with the Bachelor of Nursing degree that I completed at the University of Tasmania and proud of my education in the Faculty of Health,” he said.
“The value that was added to my life by the University gave me the strength to stand up and work as a health professional and fulfil my dream.
“While many of the students are from different cultural backgrounds, in the environment that the University provides we are all very part of the team and felt like we belonged to a family.
“I was so proud and happy on graduation day with my family and friends, to receive my degree and award.”
Determined to push himself further with his studies, Mr Adli has plans to undertake further studies with the University to attain his Bachelor of Nursing Honours, Transition to Professional Practice (TPP) and then progress to a Master of Nursing.
Image courtesy of Quentin Jones